Steinmeier discussed the situation in Ukraine in talks with Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu. Steinmeier said the cease-fire from the Feb. 12 Minsk agreement was holding, with some minor violations. At the same time, he noted that the path to a political settlement of the conflict in Ukraine will take long.
Steinmeier also welcomed the agreement to grant more powers to the OSCE observers. First of all it means that the observers will be able to monitor not only the process of weapons withdrawal itself but also the locations where these weapons were redeployed to. Thus, according to Steinmeier, the OSCE will finally be able to perform actual verification of deployed heavy weapons and it will become clear how fast it would be possible to use the weapons in the conflict zone again, the politician said after a meeting with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu.
"It is important to allow the OSCE to control and verify these developments," he said, abcNEWS reports.
He said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe would extend its mission in Ukraine, increasing the number of observers and the duration of the mission.
It should be reminded that the number of the OSCE special monitoring mission observers in the east of Ukraine was recently agreed to be increased from 500 to 1,000. Russia has also given its consent.